Cantopop and COVID-19: Creating a cyber spectacular in the virtual world
One of Hong Kong’s hottest acts uses Microsoft Teams and Minecraft to wow fans during the pandemic
When COVID-19 made performing live at the Hong Kong Coliseum impossible, one of Cantopop’s favorite groups built their own venue in the virtual world and brought their fans along for an unforgettable ride.
C AllStar used Minecraft to create a fantasy Coliseum where they staged a 10th anniversary cyber spectacular. It was interactive entertainment experience that combined music, gaming, and live streaming on a single platform.
It has opened up a whole new way of entertaining for the members of the group.
“We turned a dream into a reality and hosted a virtual concert,” says Andy Leung.
It was a bold experiment for the foursome who have been wowing audiences across Asia since 2010.
“We were able to do so much more that would not have been possible in a physical concert,” says Kenny Chan Kin-on. “For example, teleporting to somewhere else. Things you might have thought would be impossible, you were able to see in the show.”
“All the designs are aesthetically beautiful and is very well-thought out. Kudos to the production team. Very good!”
One highlight was a mass chorus performed by C Allstar together with their fans via the Together Mode feature on Microsoft Teams.
To balance the extraordinary, the concert experience also included some familiar features. Audience members had to line up queue up, have their temperatures checked upon entry check and find their seats. Fast food stalls were even created virtually.
Microsoft Hong Kong and Cyberport worked with digital entertainment company Kre8Lab to create a 3D virtual performing space.
Built on a robust and secure Microsoft Azure cloud platform, this immersive virtual experience on Minecraft connected fans from all around the world.
To familiarize those who were not used to Minecraft games, Kre8Lab spent three months crafting a “Super Avenue of Stars” treasure hunt and recreating the streets of the Tsim Sha Tsui district near the Hong Kong Coliseum.
These features included the iconic Clock Tower, the Star Ferry Pier, the Hong Kong Cultural Center, Hong Kong Space Museum, the 1881 Heritage and more.
Rebecca Leung, head of marketing at Kre8Lab says it was the first concert in Asia to integrate both virtual and physical realities. It brought business and entertainment together and provided users with a new, refreshing experience.
We were able to do so much more that would not have been possible in a physical concert.
– Band member Kenny Chan Kin-on
“The virtual concert model is part of the future of the entertainment industry, and is a space with endless potential,” she says.
“The pandemic has increased people’s acceptance of online cultural activities, accelerating the growth of the virtual entertainment industry by at least one or two years. More technological elements will be possible in the future.’
She describes the C AllStar virtual concert as “version 1.0.” “We look forward to witnessing version 2.0 or even 3.0 soon, with the potential inclusion of virtual reality or even artificial intelligence.”
“Under the new normal, industries need to be flexible in adapting to new jobs and lifestyles,” says KeIvin Tse, Director, One Commercial Partner and Small, Medium and Corporate Customers, Microsoft Hong Kong.
“We are excited to see C AllStar using our Azure cloud technology and the Minecraft platform to bring Asia its first interactive virtual concert, coupled with innovative and secure fan interactions through Microsoft Teams.
“Microsoft will continue to empower the entertainment industry in pioneering innovative entertainment experiences and other possibilities under the new normal.”
TOP IMAGE: The members of C Allstar (L-R) Jase Ho, Kenny Chan Kin-on, King Wu, Andy Leung Chiu-fung.